我國發明專利侵害鑑定之方法(中)專利工程師  /  陳詠容

Ways to examine invention patent infringements in Taiwan (2)

Patent Engineer Yung-Zhong Chen

相對於均等論,專利範圍雖符合文義讀取,惟倘其技術手段與被控侵權對象所使用之技術原理,係以實質不同的手段,達到相同或類似的功能或結果,即使被控對象落入專利之文義範圍內,應判斷其適用逆均等論,不構成侵權。然而,逆均等論所欲避免的「文義相同但實質不同」的目的,近年來,在美國專利實務上,大多在鑑定流程的第一步,解釋申請專利範圍時便已解決,逆均等論僅是在判決中附帶的論述,似無直接適用逆均等論而認定不侵權的案例。配合實務現況,我國「2015年要點草案」擬刪除逆均等論之相關規範。

According to the doctrine of equivalents theory, despite the scope of clams is in line with the context, to determine whether such difference is “insubstantial” or not, it is important to figure out the difference between the feature in the accused device and the limitation literally recited in the patent claim. The patent claim may be found to be “insubstantial” only if its technical means and the accused parties perform substantially the different function in a substantial different way with substantial different results. Nevertheless, the doctrine of equivalents analysis is applied to individual claim limitations, not to the invention as a whole. In the United States, there only needs one kind of identity test to come to its conclusion for which the doctrine of equivalent is only considered as claimed of invention which described its purpose that does not directly allow a court to hold a party liable for patent infringement. In Taiwan, the “Key point draft 2015” deleted everything against the doctrine of equivalents theory.

有鑑於文字之敘述有其侷限性,無法合理期待專利權人於申請專利時能將所有無法預見但實質相同的技術特徵寫入請求項中,因此,專利權範圍不應僅侷限於文義範圍,而應包含均等範圍,此乃均等論之意旨。然而,均論一方面藉由擴張專利範圍的方式,保全專利權人之權益,另一方面,卻造成公眾無法由專利公告的字面得知專利權的範圍,使得專利侵權的判斷充滿不確定性,甚至提高訴訟與社會成本。在這樣的情況之下,均等論實有必要被適當的限縮。相較於2004年的「專利侵害鑑定要點」,我國智財局於「2015年專利侵害鑑定要點草案」納入均等論之限制事項。倘專利符合申請歷史禁反言、先前技術阻卻及貢獻原則,則被控侵權對象應視為未落入專利範圍內。

Due to the fact that when interpreting patent claims, there is strict literalism, which cannot reasonably expect patentee to write down all the claims which cannot foreseen when lodging its patent application. Therefore the scope of claim should not be read literally for which a patent literally “reads on” an accused infringer’s device or process rather than looking at its intention. Nevertheless, the expansion of claim coverage is to protect its patentees’ right, would cause the general public not knowing the actual scope of its patent claims in result of uncertainties. Whether there are any patent infringements or not would give rise to its litigation and social costs. Therefore, the doctrines of equivalents would need to narrow the literal scope of the patent claim. By comparing the “key points on invention patent infringement in 2004”, the” key points on invention patent infringement draft 2015”, the expansion of claim coverage permitted the doctrine of equivalents, however the patentee is limited by the doctrine of prosecution history estoppel and the prior art.  

呈上,專利權人於專利申請過程為符合專利申請要件或為維護專利,而所為之修正、更正或申復,導致最後限縮專利權範圍,則專利權人便無法依據均等論主張其於申請專利時無法預見但實質相同的技術特徵。換而言之,該修正、更正或申復將導致放棄的部分,專利權人不得再藉由均等論而重為主張其所放棄之申請標的,此即所謂的歷史禁反言。From the above analysis, for the patentee to fulfill its patent application requirement so as to maintain its patent, it is necessary to amend, correct and response in result of narrowing the scope of claims, patentee cannot claim for something which cannot foresee base on the doctrine of equivalents theory. In other words, patentee who has filed a patent application and then to amend, correct and response its claim by narrowing its amendments to accommodate the patent law, would be precluded from invoking the doctrine of equivalents to broaden the scope of their claims to cover subject matter ceded by the amendments.

參考資料:References

專利侵害鑑定要點,經濟部智慧財產局,2004年。Intellectual Property Office (2004) Key points on invention patent infringement.

專利侵害鑑定要點草案, 經濟部智慧財產局,2015年。Intellectual Property Office (2015) Key points on invention patent infringement draft. 

專利法。Patent Laws

劉尚志、張添榜、陳薈潁,專利均等侵害判斷之判決分析:由美國專利案例觀照臺灣最高法院判決,台灣法學雜誌第219期,2013年,第112-143頁。Shang-Zhi Liu., Tian-Bang Zhang., Hui-Ying Chen. (2013) Case analysis on patent infringement: using US Supreme Court’s patent case as reflection on Taiwan Supreme Court’s ruling. Taiwan Law Journal 219 edition, page 112-143. 

創作者介紹
創作者 Zoomlaw  的頭像
Zoomlaw

眾律國際法律/專利商標事務所

Zoomlaw 發表在 痞客邦 留言(0) 人氣()